‘The Ngabwe Covenant’ and The Search for an African Theology of Eco-Pneumato-Relational Way of Being in Zambia

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This study explores the ways in which the born-again traditional leaders in Zambia are redefining neo-Pentecostal interaction with nonhuman creation. It demonstrates their attempts to rapture new religious imaginations in interstitial spaces between neo-Pentecostalism and Africa’s old spiritual systems. Since eco-spirituality is foundational to most African traditional institutions, some born again traditional leaders are forced to search for contextualized forms of neo-Pentecostalism to form new collective expressions of the spirituality of healing and reconciliation of all things. Grounded in the third space translation approach, this study analyzes ‘The Ngabwe Covenant’ which was made by the late neo-Pentecostal clergy and later traditional leader Ngabwe upon his inauguration as the traditional leader of Lamba-Lenje-and–Lima people of Central Province in Zambia. The study argues that Chief Ngabwe attempted to translate neo-Pentecostal spirituality through a traditional spiritual system of eco-relationality. In so doing, neo-Pentecostal spirituality and traditional religio-cultural heritages found new meaning and home within the hybridized (new) religious space. The study underlines that the resultant religious view which could be described as an African theology of eco-pneumato-relational way of being was envisioned as a new spiritual foundation for the Ngabwe kingdom. The article concludes that Rev. TL. Ngabwe’s theology of Spirit’s indwelling of the natural world is a critical contribution to neo-Pentecostal search for life-giving interactions between human and nonhuman creation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number275
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jun

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by Yonsei University Future-leading Research Initiative (New Faculty Grant Program), Grant Number: 2020-22-0103

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Religious studies


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